35. Connect the Dots

An immeasurable amount of time later, he found himself dripping wet again, and seated at an HDR in an all-night lab on the university campus.

Find "[" and replace with "p", find ";" and replace with "l", find "/" and replace with "." And so on across the keyboard.

But when he was done he was left with:

aqqaqza qaaq qa q zaz aqaq aqqq zqzqzaz aqaq aqqq qqqqzaz aqqq aqqza qqqaqqq aqqaqza zaza q zaz aqaq aaqaa qa qaqzz q azqq qaqq qaq aazq zq qqzqqqzqqa qz aqazq aza aqzqqqzqa q qaaq aqaazq qz qaq qaqa qaaq qaq qaqqa qa zqzqza zqq qa zqqqaq qaqqq aaqqaaqqqa qq qqazazqqqqqa aqq zqzqza aaqza qqqa qaq qaqqa aq qaaqaa zq aqaq aaqqq aaa zqq q aqaq qaq qaqaz

What had he done wrong?

Then he understood. By starting from the right of the keyboard, he'd changed, for example, all brackets to P's, but then all P's—including the ones that had just been converted from brackets—to O's, and so on, till he was left with nothing but Q's for all top-row letters, A's for all middle-row letters, and Z's for the bottom-row letters. He'd have to start from the left of the keyboard instead.

What came out this time was undeniably English. There were a few typos—she had been typing blind—and in some places the text went off the edge of the paper before she had remembered to bring the carriage back, but it was easy to correct the mistakes as he went along.

feeling that if i can just keep moving, just keep typing, keep going without looking back i can stay ahead of them. i know they must have me pinpointed in space and sometimes i take solace in the idea that the earth is moving but of course their satellites or transmitters are moving along with the earth so that's no help after all but i like the idea.

A shiver, not unpleasurable, went up his spine.

the drugs are like shackles or glue on my shoes. it makes me feel good to remember things. i bet they'd just love to drain my memories or inject new ones, they're like scientists injecting radioactive engineered gene splices into iguanas to see if lamarckian selection is true or not but they don't want to find out it is true so they fudge the results, i could really use an iguana right now though i know it's not safe for them either, there is a bleedover a certain halo that might be where the paintings of jesus and the saints got the idea, probably jesus and al were picking up the em waves or more likely the painters who felt they were communicating with god but little did they know all they were communicating with was mind your own business. i don't mind an iguana and i love a rat but i feel sorry for birds. we fly in airplanes and airplanes make me cry i don't like the idea of birds in their propellers or engines, airplanes fly higher than birds but they still have to pass through the bird layer of the sky it's called the birdosphere (thanks but i don't need a munchkin to tell me that, i was going to write it down anyway asshole) i feel sorry for birds because airplanes displace birds make them obsolete and birds are myob's creation. dr. abram is in it with them, he knows that drew really is my dad, the others don't believe me. it's like if you walk into a restaurant in a foreign country and try to tell them to call the police they'll assume that you're hungry, it's just the context but it starches me off it's enough to drive you crazy pardon the joke. you can't be sad without being depressed you can't be happy it's impossible you got the terminology wrong you're manic.

As he read on, his feeling of triumph at having cracked the code began to fade. There were moments of recognition and enlightenment so intense they left him winded; and then there were moments of bewilderment and frustration, when he could not make her words fit the pattern that had begun to take shape in his mind.

Finally he realized that all of her ravings, even the most unintelligible, could be reconciled with the hypothesis that, in the hospital where she had pounded them out, she was a sitting duck for the radio waves, electromagnetic beams, ray filaments or whatever they were that were being projected into her skull. If she sounded crazy it was because, in the hospital, the rays had caught up with her. They were zapping her unmercifully.

the nature of consciousness as a kid, it weirded me significantly out this idea that the experience of hearing a single note, the experience could just float there in nothingness. just the consciousness of middle C nothing else just floating there like. or the consciousness of this idea, this one, this one, THIS ONE itself could be generated by a piece of machinery. thought engineering exists in me. possibly the only true thing anyone ever taught me in school. teachers who didn't even know that there were five tastes not four telling me that l and r are consonants but they're not consonants they're fucking vowels or telling me about the vanishing point but there IS NO VANISHING POINT! you look at the world and you can see for yourself follow the lines they don't go to the horizon, they don't converge it's a fucking fiction, they don't fit together nothing fits. or the reason the sky is blue is because of refraction but if that were true then the sky would be rainbow colored not blue. or that dunkel and hearnes were this great fucking investigative reporter duo prowling around the white house sleuthing with magnifying glasses and hidden microphones and when in reality all that happened was one day somebody drops a file on his desk with all the dots so close you can already see connections and voila, as if they didn't just print what somebody wanted them to so they could manipulate the public into voting their own freedoms away. he was different than i expected. i had made him into an imaginary friend. i should have left it that way. i should never have come here jesus god fuck the lord what am i doing here in this city in a fucking mental haecgjghgfhkzksks they can get into your head the long way around too i keep forgetting, the lightrays bend through the atmosphere to follow you but if it were true we'd see rainbows instead of blue. tft explained it to me once but the waves bend. the waves bend. the waves bend. they ripple around the slits and turn into protons when they reach your mind which is a single atom. when a sperm and an egg get together to make a baby only one sperm goes up in the egg, and when they touch there's two contact points that touch before any other two, and then it's carried up into the egg, and when they fuse it's like nuclear fusion but it's human fusion, there's a mass lost across the proton, one heat abstraction goes up in the electron spins around at harmonic rates comes back down into the proton but now at broken speed to form the mind and the mind can be reduced to one atom qed. every atom in every other atom. a bubble rises to the surface of the ocean can be directed to any one spot and the ocean is the behind universe and the spot where it comes up is inside your own mind atom. these are fucking facts but these you don't learn in school. call it a conspiracy if you like just don't call it a holroyd

In the end, he couldn't blame her for her thoughts.

these are not my thoughts.

The ocean. The ocean.

He looked again at the message that Sally had translated into phonemes.

TH    i L OO M    R    G A N i NG

P OW R    O V R    TH    S K I    O SH N

S T o P    TH    P R e S

P E R S    N O Z    H OW

The Illuminati are gaining power. Over the sky ocean.

Or: The Illuminati are gaining power over the sky (and?) ocean.

Stop the press. "Pers" knows how. Purse?

"Pers" knows how to stop the press? Why did she want to stop the press?

Power over the sky: control of the clouds. Control of the weather. But the ocean too? Why the ocean?

Who had described the universe as an ocean of electromagnetic waves? Some philosopher, some physicist-poet. But if they were right ...?

And it was true that they could make bubbles surface in your brain ...?

The sky-ocean ... Could that be the ocean of electromagnetic waves? The sea of radio waves?

He needed to know more.